Lothians Accidents 1871-1900

This section contains newspaper reports on selected accidents in the Lothians between 1871 and 1900 inclusive. Please check the indexes in the Accidents Section for reports by the Inspector of Mines and accidents in other areas.

11 January 1871

Fatal Colliery Accident - On Wednesday morning, three waggons broke loose from a train of coal trucks which were being propelled down a line of rails at the tail of the bank in Greenbrae colliery, Dalkeith, and running down the bank, came into violent collision with other three waggons standing at the bottom of it. Two of the latter were smashed to pieces, and the coals with which they were loaded scattered in every direction. Robert Smith, a labourer employed in the colliery, and residing at Arniston, Gorebridge, was struck by a large fragment of coal behind the left ear , and instantaneously killed. He was seventeen years of age, and unmarried. [Scotsman 13 January 1871]

16 January 1871

West Calder – Two Persons Killed - On Monday morning, while John Shaw, miner, Gavieside, West Calder , aged thirty-four years of age, and his son, John Shaw, jun., aged eleven, stepped upon the cage of No. 2 Shale Pit, Gavieside , to descend to their work, the pit-rope gave way, and they were both precipitated to the bottom of the shaft and killed instantaneously. The former leaves a widow and three children. [Scotsman 19 January 1871]

COURT OF SESSION - FIRST DIVISION. - Saturday, January 27. - SHAW v. WEST CALDER OIL COMPANY. This was an action at the instance of Mrs Catherine Grant or Shaw and three children, to recover damages from the West Calder Oil Company for the death of John Shaw, senr., and his son John Shaw, junr., on 16th January 1871, by the breaking of a rope used for raising and lowering the miners engaged in working at a shale pit at Gavieside, West Calder. The damages claimed amounted to £1400, as follows:- By Mrs Shaw, for the death of her husband, £500 ; for the death of her son, £300 ; and by each of the three other pursuers, for the death of their father, £200. The case was tried before Lord Ormidale and a jury on 12th December last, when the defenders contended that they were not liable, in respect that at the time when the accident happened the two Shaws were not in their employment, but in the employment of Robert Boyd, a contractor, who was in the occupation of the pit and fittings connected therewith, including the ropes, in terms of an agreement with the defenders, which was produced. The Lord Ordinary directed the jury that, if they were satisfied, upon the evidence, that the Shaws were in the employment of Boyd, it could not be held that they were killed through the fault of the defenders. The jury returned a verdict for the defenders, stating at the same time that they were of opinion that the deceased met their deaths through the defective state of the rope, "but as the law recognises the binding nature of the contract between the company and Boyd, they are necessarily obliged to give their verdict for the defenders in accordance with the Judge's direction on the points of law relating to that said contract." The pursuers' counsel having excepted to the direction of the Lord Ordinary, the case now came before the Court on their bill of exceptions. They argued that the defenders, who are lessees of the minerals on the lands of Gavieside, had, by their contract with Boyd, merely employed him to assist them in putting out the shale from the pits, a subordinate part of their operations, which mainly consist in manufacturing the minerals, and Boyd was not therefore an independent contractor, but only a servant of the defenders. The miners were not made aware of the terms of the contract between the defenders and Boyd, but only that Boyd had contracted to work the shale, and he must therefore be held to be the defenders' servant engaged to work by the piece, the miners working under him being in the defenders' service, and entitled to rely upon the defenders providing safe and sufficient machinery for raising and lowering them in the shaft. The defenders contract with Boyd for working and putting out the shale provided, interalia, that the contractor should "uphold the hutches, keep in order the engine, boiler, pumps, ropes, slides, cages, &c. …… Any fittings or furnishings supplied and used by the contractor during the contract to belong to the West Calder Oil Company (the defenders), and any failure or deficiency under that head to be made good at his (the contractor's) expense. . . . The contractor to be liable for accidents of every description about the pit, above as well as below ground, &c. . . . And none of our (i.e. the defenders') men to be taken by him (the contractor), nor his by us." The Court, without calling for a reply, unanimously disallowed the exceptions. Counsel for the Pursuers - Mr Mac Donald and Mr W. Hunter. Agents - Messrs Menzies and Cameron, S.S.C. ; Counsel for the Defenders - Mr Watson and Mr MacLean. Agents - Messrs J. &R. D. Ross, W.S. [Falkirk Herald 1 February 1872]

31 August 1871

Bonnyrigg – Terrible Fall of Two Men Down A Pit – One of The Drowned At Holten new pit , No. 3, Polton colliery, yesterday , a little after ten o clock , while Mr Riggs , manager to Mr Eaglesham colliery proprietor, and John Duncan, blacksmith, were descending the pit in a kettle, for the purpose of repairing the pump, by some mishap the engine got out of gear shortly after they had left the top, causing the kettle to descend with such rapidity that the rope gave way, plunging the two men into thirty fathoms of water. Mr Riggs , on coming to the surface of the water, caught hold of some wood, and called up the shaft for assistance, supporting himself till a rope was lowered. On being pulled up he was in an exhausted condition, but was attended to by Dr M Laren . He was afterwards able to walk home with the assistance of two men. Duncan's corpse was found by means of grappling irons, and brought to the bank about two hours after the occurrence. The deceased, who resided in Gorebridge, leaves a widow and six children. He had been only about five weeks in Mr Eaglesham's employment . Mr Riggs states that Duncan did not come to the surface, and the probability is that he had got entangled among the chains, having descended the pit sitting in the bottom of the kettle; whereas Mr Riggs stood with one foot on the edge of the kettle and the other hanging over. During the afternoon the body of Duncan was conveyed to Gorebridge. [Scotsman 1 September 1871]

The Pit Accident At Bonnyrigg – John Smith, engineman at Holten new pit, Polton Colliery, where the accident occurred on Thursday night which resulted in the death of John Duncan, blacksmith, was yesterday arrested on the charge, we understand, of causing the accident by culpable negligence. [Scotsman 2 September 1871]

7 September 1871

Newbattle – Fatal Colliery Accident - A miner, named Robert Davidson, about sixty years of age, met with an accident in the Newbattle Engine Pit, on Thursday morning, which resulted fatally in about three quarters of an hour. He had holed his coal on the previous evening, and finding if still standing on his resuming work, he tried to undermine it a little further. He had just commenced doing so when a mass of coal and stone, nearly two tons in weight, fell upon him, crushing him so that he died shortly after being taken home. [Scotsman 8 September 1871]

5 February 1872

Bo'ness – Fatal Pit Accident – On Tuesday morning, while a young man named George Grant, a miner in the employment of Mr Henry Cadell of Grange, was engaged working in No 3 pit, Grangepans near Bo'ness, a large stone fell from the roof upon him and caused instantaneous death. [Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 10 February 1872]

3 July 1872

Serious Coal pit Accident.—Yesterday, while Edward Jones a miner, belonging to Armadale, was working in Trees coal and ironstone pit, near Armadale, he was struck by a large fall of stone which fell from the roof. Both his thighs were broken, and other serious injuries were sustained. He was removed to his home, and attended by Drs Kirk and Longmuir. [Glasgow Herald 4 July 1872]

12 August 1872

WEST CALDER - Fatal Pit Accident - A miner, named John Lyon, residing at West Calder, on Monday met with a fatal accident while employed at No. 15 Shale Pit at Addiewell. He was engaged at the time of the accident in putting timber into the shaft, and was standing on a platform halfway down the shaft, while a piece of timber was being lowered down the shaft. The rope by which it was hung broke, and, falling on the scaffolding on which Lyon was standing, precipitated both to the bottom of the shaft, a fall of thirty feet. The unfortunate man was killed instantaneously. [Falkirk Herald - Thursday 15 August 1872]

14 September 1872

Bathgate - Shocking Accident - A Man's Head and Arm Torn Off - About six o'clock on Saturday morning the dead body of an engine-keeper named James Wilson, belonging to Cappers near Bathgate, was found lying beside the engine he was in charge of at No 5 Cappers Coal and Ironstone Pit. It appears that the engine is place under ground in the pit, the steam being conveyed from boilers on the surface to the engine below, and the engine is used for both pumping and winding purposes. Deceased who was on the night shift, was last seen alive about one o'clock by some of his fellow workmen, and as the engine is only used during the night in pumping water, he was not seen again until the other engineman came at six o'clock in the morning to commence his work on the day shift. Deceased was then discovered lying near the engine, his head crushed and torn from the body, as also one of his arms. It is supposed, as oil pourey was found lying beside him, that deceased had been in the act of oiling the machinery while the engine was in motion, and had been caught by the pinion wheels and dragged in between them. His remains were conveyed to his own house. He leaves a wife and large family to lament his loss. [Hamilton Advertiser 21 September 1872]

29 October 1872

WEST CALDER - Fatal Pit Accident at Addiewell - On Tuesday morning, at six o'clock, Jacob Shore and John Morgan, pit sinkers, residing at Mossend, West Calder, were lowered in the " kettle" down No. 15 shale pit, Addiewell, for the purpose of commencing work. When about 70 fathoms down, Shore mistook the instructions of Morgan, and the "kettle" being thus misguided, came in contact with a scaffolding, and was upset. Shore was thrown out, and falling to the bottom, a depth of 15 fathoms, was killed instantaneously. Morgan saved himself by catching the chains, and holding on until rescued. [Falkirk Herald 2 November 1872]

6 March 1873

Fatal Pit Accident - On Thursday afternoon, while two miners named John Bow and John M'Dermond, both residing at Newtown, Bo'ness, were engaged working at Loudon's Pit, No. 18, a large quantity of stones and rubbish fell and covered them. In about a quarter of an hour both men were extricated. Bow's life was quite extent, his body being almost doubled up, and M'Dermond's legs and the left side of his head were hurt. Deceased and M'Dermond were brothers-in-law. Bow leaves a widow and small family to mourn his untimely end. [Falkirk Herald - Thursday 13 March 1873]

5 June 1873

Fatal Pit Accidents At West Calder - On Thursday morning James Black, a pitsinker at West Calder, was accidentally thrown from a scaffolding to the bottom of a pit, 115 fathoms deep, and killed on the spot. Black had been, along with some others, working on a scaffolding which was suspended in the pit for temporary repairs. Having given a signal to be taken to the mouth of the pit, they were carried ten feet higher, when the scaffolding was overturned in coming against a beam, and Black was thrown to the bottom of the pit.

William Smith, a limestone miner, residing in Leven Street, West Calder, was killed on Wednesday morning by a large stone falling upon him from the roof of the workings in No. 1 pit there. [The Dundee Courier & Argus 7 June 1873]

18 September 1873

Serious Pit Accident At Bo’ness – Between 11 and 12 on Thursday night, three miners named Robt. Grant, James Hamilton, and Henry Robertson, residing in Newtown, Bo’ness, were at work in No. 2 pit, Snab, Kinneil, belonging to Messrs Wilson & Co., brushing a road and making ready a shot. While in the act of pulling the needle, the powder exploded, and loosened a stone, about a ton in weight, which fell on Grant’s left leg. Grant and Hamilton were rendered insensible for a considerable time. They were conveyed home in a cart on Friday morning, and attended by Drs Paton and Graham, who found Grant’s body to be covered with lacerated wounds, and that it was necessary to amputate his foot. Little hopes are entertained of his recovery. Hamilton’s back and hands are severely cut, but he is expected to recover. Robertson escaped almost uninjured. [The Dundee Courier & Argus 22 September 1873]

13 June 1874

BO'NESS. Fatal Pit Accident - On Saturday William Paterson, aged 32, while at his occupation in No. 1 Pit, belonging to Messrs Geo. Wilson & Co., Kinneil Ironworks, met his death under the following melancholy circumstances:- Paterson was driver of a truck from the lower or "dook" workings to the pit bottom, and when in the act of coming out with, and standing in front of it, some rubbish had fallen on the road, causing it to jump and him to fall before it. The engine by which the truck is drawn up the incline pulled it over his body, causing instant death. Paterson has left a widow and several young children to mourn his loss. [Falkirk Herald 18 June 1874]

9 September 1874

Whitburn – Fatal Accident – On Wednesday, a miner named John Johnstone, lost his life in Balbakie Pit, belonging to the Coltness Company. He was preparing to fire a charge of gunpowder, and while his neighbour was removing the flasks & c out of reach, the shot went off. His neighbour hastened back and found poor Johnstone in a terrible state. He was taken up and promptly attended to by Dr Clark who found both jaws broken, and his eyes and a part of his face all but separated from his had. He lingered a few hours and died. Johnstone, who resided at Gateside, Whitburn, was much respected and was leader of the Whitburn brass band. He leaves a wife and five children. [Hamilton Advertiser 12 September 1874]

19 October 1875

Bo'ness – Fatal Pit Accident - Yesterday, at noon, a young man named Thomas Rae, a miner, met with his death in Schoolyard Pit, Bo'ness, belonging to the Kinneil Iron Company. While engaged at his ordinary occupation, a heavy mass of mineral came away from, the roof of the working, and crushed him so severely that death resulted almost instantaneously. The deceased was 22 years of age, unmarried, and resided with his widowed mother. [Scotsman 20 October 1875]

7 April 1876

Whitburn – Fatal Accident - Yesterday forenoon while a young lad named Peter Fordyce, son of James Fordyce residing here, was attending to his duties as assistant bottomer in Balbaickie Pit, belonging to Coltness Iron Company, he was struck by a stone from the roof or shank and instantly deprived of life. [Herald April 8 1876]

4 March 1879

Loanhead – Miner Killed – Yesterday morning a miner named Halliday, while engaged in excavation underground, lost his life by a large stone from the roof falling on him and crushing him to death. [Scotsman 5 March 1879]

24 July 1879

West Calder Fatal Accident – Between 8 and 9 o'clock on Thursday morning, Alex. Crookston, aged 16 years, residing at Woodmuir West Calder, was accidentally killed while at work in No 2 pit there, by being run over by a hutch as it was descending an incline. The waggon was despatched by a brother of the deceased, but no blame is attached to him. [Scotsman 26 July 1879]

13 November 1879

Fatal Pit Accident – About midday of Wednesday, while George Buchanan, 16 years of age, residing with his father at Old Pencaitland, parish of Lasswade, was at work as a “drawer” at No 1 level, Roslin Colliery, he accidentally fell a distance of 60 fathoms, and was instantaneously killed. It appears that after drawing an empty hutch from the lift, he, by mistake, signalled for its removal. The signal having been attended to, he then proceeded to draw a loaded hutch on to the hoist, which by that time had been removed. No blame is attached to any one. [Scotsman 14 November 1879]

21 November 1879

Fatal Pit Accident – On Thursday, David Graham, miner, residing at Backburn, accidentally fell down the shaft of No 1 Woodmuir pit, Blinkbonny, near West Calder, while working at the pit mouth, and was instantaneously killed. [Scotsman 24 November 1879]

9 April 1881

Action Under The Employers Liability Act of 1880 - An action has been raised in the Sheriff-Court of Mid-Lothian, under the Employers' Liability Act of 1880, the third of the kind in Edinburgh since the passing of the measure, at the instance of Mrs Mary Ann Duff y or M'Avoy, widow of James M'Avoy, shale miner, and her four children, against Young's Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Company, carrying on business at Addiewell, concluding for £1000 damages, or, in the event of its being found that the pursuers have no claim against the defenders at common law, but only in virtue of the Employers' Liability Act, 1880, the sum of £300 damages; and, in any event, to find the pursuers entitled to expenses. In the condescendence for the pursuers it is stated that on the 9th April last the deceased Jas. M'Avoy was fatally injured at the working face of No. 2 pit, belonging to the defenders, by an empty hutch coming up a gradient at great speed, and crushing his body. The deceased was, it is said, a steady and long-tried workman, and it; was, the pursuers aver, solely through the defective and insufficient machinery and working arrangements of the defenders, or through the negligence and fault of the defenders or those in their employment in charge of the workings and machinery. The defenders, while admitting that the deceased was fatally injured in the manner indicated, deny that it was owing to the fault of themselves or those for whom they were responsible, and aver that the accident was materially contributed to by the fault and knowingly wrongful actings or culpable carelessness of the deceased in connection with the working of the hutches, which he had frequently worked, and never gave, or caused to be given, any complaint to any one on the subject. If, the defenders further allege, the accident happened through the fault of any person, or persons, other than the said James M'Avoy, such other person or persons were his fellow-workmen, who were competent for their respective duties, sufficient in number, and engaged in a common employment with him, and tor whom tho defenders were not responsible either at common law as it stood, or as altered by the Employers' Liability Act, 1880. It is understood that as soon as the record has been closed in the case, a motion will be made to have it referred to the-Court of Session for trial before a jury. [Scotsman 5 July 1881]

23 May 1881

Fatal Colliery Accident at Newbattle - On Monday night, while a shaftsman named Alex Lawson was descending to a pit in Newbattle Colliery, in a cage, along with some fellow workmen, he signalled for the cage to be stopped at one of the "levels,"in order that some of the company might alight. After this operation had been performed, Lawson reached over the cage and signalled for it to be again set to motion. The signal was attended to, and before Lawson withdrew, his head was caught between the cage and the woodwork of the shaft, and he was instantaneously killed. He was about 32 years of age, unmarried, and resided with his mother at Lingerwood Cottage, parish of Cockpen [Scotsman 25 May 1881]

28 March 1882

Pit accident - A miner named John Hutchison, was killed in No 24 pit of Gilmerton Colliery, on Tuesday morning. It appears that he had entered a hutch for the purpose of being taken down an incline to the “dook” and it is supposed that while standing in the hutch he had fallen backwards upon the rails. His head was severely cut, and several of his ribs fractured. He was picked up in a state of unconsciousness and died soon afterwards. Deceased was forty-eight years of age and resided at Gilmerton [Scotsman 1st April 1882]

6 June 1882

Fatal Accident to a Miner - A miner named Alexander Allan, aged 57, residing at Cowdenfoot, died on Tuesday morning from injuries received by a stone falling on him while at work at Newbattle Colliery on the previous day. [Scotsman 8th June 1882]

6 August 1882

Dalkeith - Fatal Coal Pit Accident - Wm. Baxter, a miner, residing at East Houses, was killed at the engine pit, Newbattle Colliery, between eight and nine o'clock on Sunday night. Deceased was engaged along with four others repairing the roof of the main road at the dookhead, when the roof gave way and about fifty tons of stones and earth fell upon him. When extricated it was thought that death had resulted from suffocation, as the body was very little bruised. Baxter was 41 years of age, and leaves a widow and four children. A brother of the deceased made a very narrow escape. [Glasgow Herald 8 August 1882]

23 August 1882

Broxburn - Mine Explosion Near Broxburn - Five Men Badly Injured - About 2 o'clock on Wednesday afternoon a terrific gas explosion took place in Hey's Craig shale pit, occupied by the Broxburn Oil Company, Limited. Francis Danks, the oversman, John Neill fireman, and three miners were dangerously burned and are not expected to recover. One of the injured men named John Imrie died on Thursday in the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, whence he had been removed. [West Lothian Courier September 1882]

Motherwell – Explosion In A Shale Pit – Yesterday afternoon a gas explosion occurred at Hey Craig shale pit, Motherwell. The mine was full of men at the time, but fortunately, the explosion was confined to one portion. Francis Danks, overman, John Neil, fireman, and three miners were severely burned. They were removed to their homes, but fears are entertained that some may not recover. [Scotsman 31 August 1882]

John Stein died 5th September 1882, Francis Danks & James Neil died 8th September

13 October 1882

Dalkeith Fatal Colliery Accident - Yesterday morning- a man named James Reid, about 60 years of age, was accidentally killed at West Bryans pit, Newbattle Colliery. The unfortunate man was employed at the hoist where the coal is screened, when a hutch weighing about 12 or 14 cwts. was lowered suddenly, and, falling upon him, crushed him so terribly that death must have been almost instantaneous. The mangled remains of the unfortunate man were removed to his residence in Dalkeith. Deceased leaves a widow and grown up family. In connection with this accident we are informed that it was no part of the deceased's duty, nor was there any necessity for him to go under the cage, as there in a safe road provided for the workmen round the landing-place of the cage. The men at the top, before sending away the cage, cautioned him that it was about to descend, and as the total height of the hoist is only about 18 feet, speaking is the most efficient signal which could be employed. [Scotsman 14 October 1882]

14 October 1882

Fatal Accident in a Pit - A miner named John Cole, 38 years of age, was killed on Friday in Whitehill pit, Rosewell, by a quantity of clay, weighing about 10 cwt., becoming detached from the roof of the pit and falling upon him while he was engaged filling a hutch [Scotsman 16th October 1882]

3 September 1883

A young man named David Thomson, a miner, residing at Loanhead, met with a serious accident late on Monday evening while blasting some shale in the Pentland pit at Lasswade, which is occupied by the Clippens Oil Company. It seams that he and another man had filled a hole with powder for blasting purposes, and after putting in a lighted straw instead of a fuse, they retired about forty yards from the shot. Eight minutes having elapsed without the shot exploding, Thomson approached the hole to ascertain what was wrong, when the charge exploded full in his face, depriving him of his eyesight. The unfortunate man was subsequently brought to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. [Scotsman 5 September 1883]

12 March 1884

Accident in a Coal Pit – John Wilson, a boy of 12 years, residing at Gavieside, West Calder, was on Wednesday attempting to stop some waggons on an incline in a pit by throwing a piece of wood before the wheels, when the wood sprung out and knocked him down in front of the waggons, the wheels of which passed over his legs. He was removed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and early yesterday morning his right leg was amputated above the knee. His left leg was also severely crushed and he sustained some internal injuries. [Scotsman 14 March 1884]

11 December 1884

By an accident which took place about three o'clock yesterday morning at the Benhar Coal Company's Deer Park pit, in the parish of Liberton, two men named respectively James M'Court, aged 28 and Thomas Ross, aged 33, both residing at Gilmerton, lost their lives. They had, it would seem, been employed in sinking a new shaft, and about two in the morning had returned to the surface for refreshment. While they were being lowered again, an hour afterwards, the engineman at the pithead received the signal to stop the cage. On its being at once drawn up, it was seen that the man were not inside, though it had not in the interval reached the bottom. On subsequent examination, both men were found lying dead at the bottom of the shaft. They had fallen out of the cage, a distance of about thirty feet. It is suggested that the cage or open "kettle" in which they were working may have been accidentally tilted up by striking against a stone on the side of the shaft. [Scotsman 12 December 1884]

13 January 1885

Serious Accident At Newbattle Colliery - Yesterday afternoon a lad of 15 years of age, named George Trail residing at Lingerwood Old Smithy, Newbattle, sustained a compound fracture of his leg, and had his knee-joint severely crushed by a loaded hutch, which was sent along an inclined plane at a place known as the "West Connection." Trail, who was at the time at work at the bottom of the incline, did not notice the approach of the hutch, and apparently got no signal of its approach. [Scotsman 14 January 1885]

12 March 1885

Fatal Pit Accident at Pentland Shale Pit - A miner, named James M'Kinlay, 22 years of age, residing at Loanhead, was accidentally killed on Thursday through the coupling of some loaded hutches, which were being drawn up an incline at Pentland Shale Pit, having given way. Four of the hutches came down an incline and struck M'Kinlay, killing him almost instantaneously. [Edinburgh Evening News 14 March 1885]

30 December 1885

Margaret Hogg or Porteous vs J Waldie & Sons - The trial of this action, which commenced., yesterday, was concluded today. Margaret Porteous or Hogg, Church Street, Tranent, sued J. Waldie & Son, coalmasters, Tranent, for £500 for herself, and £250 for each of her children, Margaret and William John. The claim was made in respect of the loss of pursuer's husband, William Hogg, miner, who was killed in the Wynd Pit on the 30th December last by the falling of a quantity of coal, which crushed him to death. The pursuer stated that the portion of the mine in question had not been worked for several years, and that there should have been a fence erected to bar the passage between the working part and the disused workings. The defence was that the whole of the mine was properly protected and duly examined, and that the accident could only have occurred through the negligence of the deceased or some of those working with him in unwarrantably interfering or tampering with the condition of the mine, or removing some of the coal which supported the roof. The jury, after an absence of twenty minutes, returned a unanimous verdict for the pursuer, assessing the damages at £100 for the widow and £50 for each of her two children. [Scotsman 26 November 1886]

24 November 1886

Serious Accident At Loanhead - A serious accident took place yesterday at the Dryden Pit of the Shotts Iron Company, through overwinding, whereby one man was killed. The men who stop work at two o'clock were being brought to the surface when the cage containing ten men was drawn up too far and one man, named Henry Paul, fell off the cage down the incline and was killed. [Scotsman 25 November 1886]

Fatal Pit Accident – One Man Killed, Several Injured - About two o'clock on Thursday afternoon, a serious affair occurred at Dryden Coal Pit, Loanhead, occupied by the Shotts Iron Company. Several men were being drawn up in the cage, and it is said that about forty fathoms from the pit head the bell was rung, and the cage stopped to allow Henry Paul, who had been working in No. 1 bottom, to get in. The cage then resumed its upward course, and it seems that when it reached the top, it was not stopped as usual, but went right on as far as the pulley-wheel, causing the cage and the men to fall. Paul dropped to the bottom of the shaft, a depth of 240 fathoms, and death was instantaneous, his arms and legs having been broken in several places and his skull fractured. The cage and the other men also fell into the shaft, but was caught there, and the men were only slightly injured. They are all miners residing in the vicinity of Loanhead. Police Sergeant Christie, as the result of inquiries made after the affairs has arrested George Tippet, 53 years of age, residing at West End Cottages, and brought him into Edinburgh, where he was yesterday examined before the Sheriff. Paul was unmarried, 35 years of age, and resided also at West End Cottages. The injured men are - William Affleck (37), injury to head and back; Thomas Doud, injury to head and nose; James Partlan, injury to right leg; Patrick Matison, injury to back and arms. [Aberdeen Journal 26 November 1886]

20 January 1887

Mrs Elizabeth Chellew and Another v The Shotts Iron Company - In this action Mrs Elizabeth Thomas or Chellew, Loanhead, and her son, Frederick James Chellew, sued the Shotts Iron Company for £1000 for the loss of William Henry Chellew who, while in the employment of the defenders as underground engineman at the Burghlee Pit, Loanhead was on 20th January last killed by being precipitated to the bottom of the pit owing to the breaking of the cage rope. The case was on the roll to-day for leave to the pursuers to abandon the action. Counsel for the Pursuers - Mr Scott and Mr Baxter. Agent - Thomas Clapperton, W.S. Counsel for the Defenders - Mr Dickson. Agent—T . F. Weir [Scotsman 26 May 1887]

26 February 1887

Niddrie - Man Drowned at No. 10 Pit – On Saturday, John Coulter, an engine-keeper, along with Thos. Morrison, residing at Newcraighall, was engaged working at No. 12 pit, and the carriage there having gone off the rails, they travelled underground a distance of about 250 yards to No. 10 pit, where they signalled to the engineman to be taken up. Somehow or other the signalman misunderstood the signalling, and instead of taking them up, lowered them into the “sump.” Morrison managed to escape, even although he was over the neck in water, but Coulter was drowned. He leaves a wife and large family [From the Dalkeith Advertiser – with thanks to Les Harris for providing this article]

11 May 1887

Yesterday afternoon John Bird, a miner belonging to West Calder, was killed in the Oakbank Shale pit by a large quantity of shale falling upon him. His body showed no external injuries of any kind, and the medical report states that the man died from suffocation. Bird leaves a wife and a family of five children. [Dundee Courier 12 May 1887]

7 July 1887

Serious Fire Damp Explosion At Broxburn – Two Men Killed - On Thursday a severe explosion of fire damp took place in the Sand Hole Pit, belonging to the Broxburn Oil Company, whereby two men, named William Wilson, the oversman, and Andrew Beith, contractor, Portobello (lately of Bathgate), lost their lives. Thursday being a holiday among the shale miners, the pit was not working; but a party of seven men went down the pit in the forenoon. The oversman had left some miners to procure some shale samples at the bottom seam, while he and Mr Beith ascended to the upper seam to mark off a new mine which was to be driven to Hayscraigs. They had only proceeded some six yards from the shaft when an explosion of fire damp took place. Mr Kennedy, underground manager, and Mr N M Henderson, works manager were speedily on the spot, and had a rescue party organised. This was about twelve o'clock. Those in the bottom seam were speedily rescued, being uninjured; but three hours elapsed before Wilson and Beith were brought to the pithead, the force of the explosion having brought down a large portion of the roof above them. Both the bodies were badly mutilated. Wilson, who was much respected in Broxburn, leaves a widow and a young family. Mr Beith was a brother of Mr Robert Beith, manager, Clyde Coal Co.'s Collieries. He was one of the most skilled and successful pit sinking contractors of the day, having, in company with his brothers, carried out some of the largest undertakings of the kind in this country or in Wales. [Hamilton Advertiser 9 July 1887]

1 March 1888

Before Lord Wellwood and a Jury- Mrs Fullerton v Deans & Moore- This action, the trial of which began on Friday and terminated on Saturday, was brought by Mrs Fullerton , 8 St Anthony Court, Leith, widow of John Fullerton, miner, Cowpits, Inveresk, against Deans & Moore, coalmasters, Smeaton Park, Inveresk, for £500 at common law, or £150 under the Employers' Liability Act, for the loss of her husband, who was killed in March last by a fall of coal and stones in one of the defenders' pits at Carberry colliery. The defence was that the man was not struck by the fall, but that his death was caused by heart disease. The jury, after an absence of fully an hour and a half, returned a unanimous verdict for the pursuer, assessing the damages at £100. [Scotsman 3 December 1888]

17 April 1888

Mining Accident At Newbigging – Peter Henderson,a miner, yesterday sustained a fracture of the spine by a quantity of coal falling on him while he was at work in Newbigging Colliery. He was removed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. [Scotsman 18 April 1888]

19 June 1888

Yesterday, a miner named John Hamilton, residing at Holmes, was very severely crushed between a hutch and the wall of the mine at Holmes Oil Works. He was severely injured internally. [Scotsman 20 June 1888]

31 August 1888

Edinburgh – Accident - Yesterday afternoon, William Brown, aged 39, a shale miner at Dean Shale Works, near Bathgate, was in the act of putting in a blast shot when the charge exploded. His skull was fractured, and he received other severe injuries. He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, but it is not expected that he will recover. [Glasgow Herald 1 September 1888]

10 October 1888

Accident In A Pit - Yesterday afternoon a pitman named James Hardie, sixty years of age, was received into Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, suffering from internal injuries and a compound fracture of the left leg. He had, it seems been engaged sweeping the road in some of the workings in Philipstoun Oilworks when he was struck on the back by a large stone which had become detached from the roof. He resided at Bonnybridge, Uphall. [Scotsman 11 October 1888]

18 October 1888

Fatal Accident in a Pit at Straiton - On Thursday a miner named William Campbell, 31 years of age, residing at Gilmerton, met his death while working in one of the Clippens Oil Company shale pits at Straiton. He had been undermining at the time at one of the facings, and a quantity of shale, weighing about a ton, fell on him, crushing him to the ground and completely burying him. It was some time before he was extricated by the other workers, and life was then found to be extinct. His injuries are said to have been chiefly about the head and a broken neck.. [Scotsman 20 October 1888]

12 December 1888

A miner named John Ross received serious injury in Elphinstone Colliery yesterday by a fall of stone from the roof. [Scotsman 13 December 1888]

15 December 1888

Explosion At Broxburn - On Saturday, at half-past one o'clock, an explosion of fire-damp took place at No. 1 Stewartfield mine, and Robert Anderson, aged 16, was killed, and another man named Thomas Joyce badly injured. Anderson, who had heard the report, went to explore the scene of the explosion, and was killed by afterdamp. [Scotsman 17 December 1888]

26 December 1888

Accident At Armadale - Yesterday, while a man, James Laird, aged 31, residing in West Main Street, Armadale was employed at the face in No. 5 Pit, Woodend, belonging to the Coltness Iron Company (Limited), a quantity of coal and dirt weighing about two tons fell from the roof and completely buried him. Some time elapsed before he was extricated. His internal injuries are of such a serious nature that little hope is entertained of his recovery. [Scotsman 27 December 1888]

16 August 1889

Broxburn – Miner Killed At Dalmeny- Yesterday, an unmarried miner named John Grant (50), was killed in Dalmeny Shale Mine. He had been working at the face, when a quantity of material, several tons in weight, fell upon him, killing him on the spot. [Glasgow Herald 17 August 1889]

31 December 1889

Miner Killed at Prestongrange - A miner named Richard Campbell, aged 22, working in one of the seams of Prestongrange Colliery, met with serious injuries near his working face by a fall crushing his head and face, and injuring other portions of his body, yesterday morning about three o'clock. He was carried to his brother's house at Dunmore on stretchers, but died four hours later. [Dundee Courier 1 January 1890]

14 January 1890

At Newcraighall yesterday afternoon, a lad named James Newlands, 16 years of age, was thrown down by the fall of a gate which leads from the colliery. He was run over by a passing engine, and killed. [Scotsman 15 January 1890]

5 January 1891

West Calder - Fatal Burning Accident - Whilst a young man named John M'Knight, aged about 20, was engaged on Monday morning at one of the Hermand Company's shale mines at West Calder in filling a naptha lamp, the oil ran over and the can exploded, setting fire to his clothes. The young man was severely burned, and after suffering great agony, he died the same night. [Glasgow Herald 7 January 1891]

10 January 1891

Fatal Accident At Mauricewood - On Saturday a miner while lowering a hutch of coal from the “wheel brae” to the bottom level of Mauricewood found it obstructed by what proved to be another hutch with it drawer, James Tolmie, 15, underneath. Tolmie was extricated, but he died shortly after reaching the pit bank. [Evening Times 12 January 1891]

27 May 1891

Second Division - Before the Lord Justice-Clerk and a Jury. - Agnes Reid or Johnstone v. The West Lothian Oil, Co. - The trial began yesterday and concluded to-day of the action by Mrs Agnes Reid or Johnstone, Stable Rows, Harlaw, Linlithgowshire, and her daughter, against the West Lothians Oil Company, Deans, Bathgate, for £500 damages for the loss of the husband and father of the pursuers respectively, who, on the 27th May 1891, while in the defenders' employment as a shale miner in Deans Pit, engaged pushing a full hutch on the cage on the upper seam in the pit, fell with the hutch down the shaft to the lower seam, and was killed. The accident was attributed by the pursuers to the want of shuts or a false bottom to prevent the hutches from falling down the shaft; but the defenders denied liability, and stated that the deceased was specially warned that the gate had been temporarily removed for repairs. The jury, after an absence of about thirty-five minutes, returned a unanimous verdict for the defenders. [Scotsman 23 March 1892]

20 January 1892

Addiewell – Painful Accident – Early on Wednesday morning George Black, 16, son of Mr John Drummond Black, residing at No 66 Livingston Street, Addiewell, met with a rather serious accident while going to his work in Loganlea Pit. It is stated that he had to pass close to an unfenced windlas that was in motion at the time when the accident occurred, the handle of which struck Black between the eyes, with the result that it fractured his nose and endangered the sight of his right eye. Dr Thomson rendered immediate service and had the injured lads wounds dressed. [Hamilton Advertiser 23 January 1892]

22 March 1892

Miner Killed – Yesterday an accident happened in Seafield Mine, Blackburn, near Bathgate, by which a miner named Thomas Young lost his life. A shot had been fired, but failed to have the effect of bringing away the material, and Young was punching at it with the object of loosening it, when the whole mass gave way, crushing him beneath it. [Scotsman 23 March 1892]

24 May 1892

Accident to a Niddrie Miner - Yesterday forenoon John Ronald, 18 years of age, a coal drawer, while working in the Niddrie coal pit, fell a distance of nearly 130 feet down an incline, sustaining severe injuries to his head and one of his shoulders. He was removed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. [Scotsman 25 May 1892]

7 April 1893

Fatal Accident At Newbattle - A middle-aged man, named John Lynch, met his death by suffocation while working inside a boiler at the new pits of the Lothians Colliery Company (Limited), Newbattle, yesterday. The deceased resided at Whitehill, and has left several children. [Scotsman 8 April 1893]

14 June 1894

Accident To A Miner - James Howden, a miner, was yesterday admitted to Edinburgh Infirmary suffering from injuries which he received at Pentland Oil Works by being accidentally run over. [Scotsman 15 June 1894]

13 September 1894

Fatal Accident at the Oilworks - On Thursday night a miner named John M'Laren, residing at Linlithgow, met with an accident in one of the mines belonging to the Linlithgow Oil Company. He had been walking up the carriage brae when a hutch came up behind him and knocked him down, and passed over his body. He was taken home and attended to by Dr M'Kenzie's assistant. The injuries sustained were found to be of a very serious nature, and they unfortunately proved fatal, M'Laren having died on Friday morning. [Falkirk Herald 19 September 1894]

6 April 1895

Explosion In A Bathgate Mine - John Fowler, a shale miner, was on Saturday forenoon taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, suffering from burns over the face and body, caused by an explosion in No. 1 Seafield Mine, near Bathgate, where he was employed. The cause of the explosion was an accumulation of fire-damp in the mine. [Scotsman 8 April 1895]

11 April 1895

Mining Fatality at Winchburgh - About two o'clock yesterday afternoon Hugh Borthwick, a pony driver in Young's No. 6 Mine at Winchburgh, wan run into by some hutches and terribly injured. He was removed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and died half an hour after admission. Deceased was a middle-aged man, was married, and leaves four children. [Dundee Courier 12 April 1895]

30 July 1895

Miner Killed at Clippens - On Tuesday night James Pennycook, miner, was killed at No. 8 incline, Clippens Oil Company. Being done with his work he came to the pit bottom, and jumped into a half full hutch which was about to be drawn to the surface. While on the way up the incline his shoulder caught one of the beams, and he was crushed between the hutch and the beam. He only lived ten minutes afterwards. [Scotsman 1 August 1895]

12 August 1895

Accident to a Miner - A lad named John M'Gall, residing at Court Square, Linlithgow, and employed as a shale miner at Champfleurie Oil Works, early on Monday morning sustained a compound fracture of one of his legs by a quantity of shale falling upon him whilst he was engaged working in No. 3 Champfleurie shale mine. The injured lad was removed to Edinburgh Infirmary, where his injuries were attended to. It is feared that it may be deemed necessary to amputate the leg below the knee. [Falkirk Herald 17 August 1895]

Accident To A Shale Miner - James Mungall, 17 years of age, a shale miner, residing in Linlithgow, was admitted to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary yesterday morning suffering from a compound fracture of one of his legs, caused by 1.5cwt. of shale falling upon him while working at No. 3 Pit. Champfleurie, belonging to the Linlithgow Oil Company. [Glasgow Herald 13 August 1895]

9 October 1895

Fatal Accident at Prestongrange – A young man named Richard Mackie, belonging to Tranent, while engaged yesterday shunting trucks at Prestongrange Colliery, got overpowered, and was jammed by one of them. He was seriously cut and crushed about the lower part of the body, and he died on being taken home. [Scotsman 10 October 1895]

11 October 1895

Two Miners Killed at Loanhead - A serious accident happened at Burghlee pit, Loanhead, yesterday, by which two men lost their lives. About two o'clock the men leaving their work heard a fall in the level above them, but took no notice of it till it was found that two men were missing. Search resulted in finding that the place in which these men had been working had collapsed. Men at once started to clear the place, when the body of Peter Frame was found. Frame was a middle-aged man with a family. The other body, that of Abraham Pryde, a young man who resided with his father, was subsequently found. Both men lived at Roslin. [Scotsman 12 October 1895]

17 January 1896

Fatal Pit Accident - AdamM'Neill, a miner, living at Archibald Place, Musselburgh, met with an accident in Wallyford Pit yesterday, and died from his injuries half an hour after having been removed home. He leaves a widow and five children. He was between thirty and forty years of age. [Scotsman 18 January 1896]

25 January 1896

Fatal Accident At Elphingstone Colliery. -On Saturday afternoon, a boy named M'Millan, about fourteen years of age, son of Mr John M'Millan, colliery manager at Elphingstone, fell from the scaffolding on the Fleets pithead where he was working, a depth of between twenty to thirty feet. He fell through the engine house window in his descent, and landing on the engine house floor, was much cut about the head. He survived the shock only a few minutes. The boy commenced work only a few weeks ago. [Scotsman 27 January 1896]

19 February 1896

Fatal Accident Inquiries In Edinburgh - Another inquiry was conducted into the circumstances of the death of Joseph M'Queen, a lad sometime in the employment of Deans & Moore, coalmasters, Wallyford Colliery, as a stone-picker. From the evidence it appeared that M'Queen's duty was to stand by a "conveyer" and from it pick stones out of the coals as they were passed along to a steam riddle. On the morning of the 19th inst., although it was no part of his duty, he apparently intended to rectify a "spout" at the colliery, and while getting through a fence with this object, he was caught by some machinery which carried him a few inches, and jammed him against an overhead shaft. He was instantly killed. A verdict in accordance with the evidence was returned. [Scotsman 28 February 1896]

18 May 1896

Miner Killed At Bo'ness - A miner named Peter Connal, residing in Grangepans, Bo'ness, while employed in the shaft of the Miller Pit, belonging to Bridgeness Coal Company, was killed on Monday evening by a large stone falling upon him from the side of the shaft. Another miner named Joseph Hamilton, who was working along with him, was severely injured. [Scotsman 20 May 1896]

8 July 1896

Fatal Accident At Bathgate - Yesterday forenoon an accident resulting in the death of one man and serious injury of another took place at a pit at present in course of being opened by the Balbardie colliery Company. Two joiners, John M'Intyre, 21 years of age, and Thomas Broadfoot, about 35, were fixing up the pithead frame, when the guy ropes gave way and the beams on which the men were sitting came down, carrying the men with them. M'Intyre had his right arm broken and was otherwise injured, while Broadfoot had his left arm broken and one of his legs severely crushed. The doctor ordered their removal to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and the men were conveyed to Bathgate railway station, but on the way M'Intyre succumbed to his injuries. Both men were in the employment of Messrs Wm. Shanks & Sons, Airdrie Sawmills, who had the contract for the work. M'Intyre belonged to Wishaw. [Scotsman 9 July 1896]

The Accident At Bathgate – Thomas Broadfoot, a joiner, who was admitted to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Wednesday, suffering from injuries to his left arm and one of his legs, sustained while working at one of the Balbardie Colliery Company's pit, Bathgate, died early yesterday morning from the effects of his injuries. [Scotsman 10 July 1896]

26 August 1896

Miner Killed At Pumpherston - Wm. Scott (33) a shale miner, residing in Broxburn, was on Wednesday buried beneath a fall of stone in Pumpherston mine, and when extricated was found to be dead. [Glasgow Herald 28 August 1896]

NB We believe this report refers to the accident to Edward Reynolds age 33

13 November 1896

Fatal Accident At Arniston Collieries - A miner named Adam Ramage, residing at Stobhill, Gorebridge, met his death in the Emily pit,Arniston, yesterday forenoon by a quantity of stones falling upon him from the pit roof. He was a widower, and was without any family.[Scotsman 14 November 1896]

30 November 1896

Fatal Accident Inquiries In Edinburgh - In the Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday, Sheriff Rutherford and a jury conducted a public inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of Joseph Brown Middleton, residing at East Houses, a miner in the employment of the Lothian Coal Company (Limited.) From the evidence it appeared that Brown was engaged in attending to hutches in a "dook" or incline in Lady Victoria pit at-Newbattle colliery on the 30th of last month, when he was knocked down in the "dook" and severely injured. He died the same day in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. [Scotsman 11 December 1896]

15 March 1897

Explosion At Clippens Oil Works - A fireman named James Brown employed by the Clippens Oil Company was admitted to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary about half-past two o'clock this afternoon suffering from severe burns about the face and arms, and also a cut head caused by an explosion of fire damp in the pit where he was working about 11 o’clock this morning. It appears that Brown was the only person in the part where the explosion occurred, or the result might have been more serious. [ Edinburgh Evening News 15 March 1897]

3 April 1897

LINLITHGOW - Fatal Accident at Linlithgow Oil Works - A young man named Hugh Law was killed on Saturday morning at No. 3 Pit belonging to Linlithgow Oil Company. He was employed as a brakesman, and had charge of the winding drum for drawing hutches up and down an incline in the pit. It is supposed that he had omitted to check his brake after letting down a loaded hutch, with the result that before an empty hutch had been attached to the chain the back balance set the drum in motion, and the poor fellow was drawn round it and killed. [Falkirk Herald 10 April 1897]

16 June 1897

Terrible Death In A Pit Shaft - A fatality has occurred in the shaft of No.2 Pit Westrigg colliery. A labourer named Matthew Sommerville (25), residing at Woodend Rows, Armadale, was employed running hutches of engine ashes from the engine on to the cage, and by some unexplained cause he accidentally ran one of the hutches over into the shaft, falling along with it to the bottom, some sixty-two fathoms. His body was afterwards recovered in a terribly mangled condition. [Scotsman 18 June 1897]

26 July 1898

Accident At A Dalkeith Colliery - Thomas M'Carthy, a pit worker, residing in Young's Close, Dalkeith, was severely crushed about the back while working in Victoria Colliery, Newbattle, yesterday afternoon. He was removed to his home where he lies in a precarious condition. [Glasgow Herald 27 July 1898]

18 May 1899

Serious Accident To A Miner - James Malcolm, about 40 years of age, a miner, residing at East Benhar, Whitburn, was admitted yesterday to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in a critical condition suffering from a fracture to the base of the skull. He was working in one of the pits at Whitburn Colliery, and while standing at the bottom of the shaft a chain, weighing about 40lb., was dropped from the pithead, and struck him on the head, knocking him down and rendering him unconscious. He died later in the day. [Glasgow Herald May 19, 1899]

NB Correct name is Thomas Malcolm

22nd & 30th November, 9th December 1899

Fatal Accident Inquiry - In Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday Sheriff Rutherford and a jury held inquiries into the circumstances attending three fatal accidents. The first was that which involved the death of David Bain (18), 31 Duke Street, Rosewell. Deceased was a miner in the employment of the Lothian Coal Company (Limited), and upon the 22d ult. was working in one of the Company's pits at Whitehill when a quantity of coal fell upon him. He was dead when extricated, having apparently been instantaneously killed. The second inquiry had reference to the death of James Lang (15), Hawthornden Cottages, Rosewell, a chain runner, also in the employment of the Lothian Coa1 Company at Whitehill Colliery. Lang had charge of a brake at the foot of a "wheel" brae. On the 30th ult. the chain connecting the two ends of the wire rope used in conveyance of the hutches up and down the incline broke, and the hutches rushed down the incline and struck deceased. A witness stated that there had. been a similar fracture of the chain the same morning and something of the same kind six months previously. Lang had been only a short time employed in the pit, and had had charge of the brake two days. In the opinion of another witness he should have heard the hutches coming, and, as there was room to the side, should have been able to avoid them. Lang only survived the accident a few seconds. The third inquiry was with regard to the death of Thomas Frame, Loan Street, Loanhead , a miner in the employment of the Shotts Iron Company. Deceased was working in the Burghlee pit of the Company upon the 9th inst., when a piece of rock fell from the roof, striking him on the left side. He complained of pain and had difficulty in breathing, but remained at work for some hours after the accident. He walked home without assistance, but on the 12th December succumbed to the injury, death being due to a fractured rib penetrating the lung. The jury returned forma1 verdicts in the case of Bain and Frame. They added a rider, however, to their verdict regarding Lang, that in their opinion it was improper to employ so young and so unexperienced a lad as deceased as a chain runner; and that they also thought that sufficient provision was not made for his safety. [Scotsman 22 December 1899]

29 January 1900

SHOCKING DEATH IN A COAL PIT - Alexander Rodgers, pit sinker, Gateside, Whitburn, met with a shocking accident yesterday at Whiterigg Colliery, Whitburn. While he was being lowered in the kettle at the new shaft the engineman brought it up with a jerk, and Rodgers, losing his hold, fell to the bottom, a distance of six fathoms. On being brought to the surface he was found suffering from internal injuries. No bones being broken, he was conveyed home. At mid-day he was examined by Dr Tennant, Bathgate, but died immediately after. Deceased leaves a widow and five of a family. [Evening Telegraph 30 January 1900]

3 May 1900

Fatal Colliery Accident – Dalkeith Miner Killed - A fatal accident occurred to a miner named William King, this morning, by a fall of coal at Glenesk Colliery, Dalkeith. Several others had a narrow escape. Deceased, who was about 50 years of age, residing at Dalkeith, leaves a widow and grown-up family. This is the first fatal accident that has taken place at this colliery since it was opened nearly two years ago. [Evening Telegraph 3 May 1900]

18 August 1900

Fatal Accident At East Calder - A miner named John Binnie, employed by the Summerlee Iron. Company in their pit at East Calder, died yesterday morning from the injuries he received last Saturday morning in the pit. [Scotsman 23 August 1900]

NB Correct name was John Binnie Hempseed

3 September 1900

SERIOUS COLLIERY ACCIDENTS AT BO'NESS. -Yesterday two serious accidents occurred at the Furnaceyard Pit belonging to the Kinneil Coal and Coking Company, in which the lives of two men are despaired of. Robert Archibald (56), Snab, was working at the repair of a road in the parrot coal seam, when fully 35 cwt. of stones fell on him. The injuries consist of a compound fracture to the right arm, fracture of the ankle, and serious bodily injuries. In the Smithy coal section, Hugh Ford (34), Corbiehall, at the same time was terribly injured all over the body by the fall of 20 cwt. of stones while he was making a road through a "trouble". The man was suffering such agony that he could not be removed to the Infirmary. Drs Marshall and Graham were called in to attend the injured men. [Evening Telegraph 4 September 1900]

23 September 1900

West Calder - Foreman Killed - A sad accident occurred at the Seafield Works of Pumpherston Oil Company early on Sunday morning whereby the foreman of the retorts, John Fairley, residing at Seafield, lost his life. The endless chain by which spent shale is taken from the retorts to the bing had got out of gear, and Fairley was attempting to put it right when he slipped and fell from a scaffold about 15 feet high. Assistance was at hand, but Fairley succumbed shortly after the accident. Deceased leaves a widow and a large family. [Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 29 September 1900]

3 October 1900

Fatal Accident – A sad accident attended with fatal results occurred early this morning in the South Mine, belonging to the Broxburn Oil Company. A young man named William McLachlan, 30 years of age, residing with his parents at Port Buchan, was engaged holing at the face when a large piece of shale fell away from above, inflicting such dreadful injuries on the head and back of the unfortunate lad that he only survived a few minutes. Dr Scott had been summoned, but death occurred before his arrival. The body was conveyed home about 9 o'clock. Deceased's fellow workmen in the mine, on being apprised of this occurrence immediately ceased working. [Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser October 6 1900]

28 November 1900

Fatal Pit Accident At Tranent - Yesterday afternoon Thomas Porteous, a miner, working in Smiddy Pit; Tranent colliery, on ceasing work at the wall face proceeded through an old working in order to learn if his own working place was nearly through upon the waste before going home. Whether he had accidentally touched one of the old supports of the roof is unknown, but a very large stone came down and killed him on the spot. He leaves a widow and three sons. [Scotsman 29 November 1900]